Have you ever had someone who’s left you?
Actually, let’s not even go there. I’m pretty sure that it has happened before.
Sometimes you barely even remember the existence of that person. Sometimes you’re aware of that person but incapable to express any concern about his / her departure simply because you don’t care. Sometimes you’re too acutely aware of the impact that person has made, because you give / gave a shit about that person, and you’re baffled as to how he / she can just walk away from you as if the two of you were mere strangers.
I know, ridiculous, isn’t it?
Not to burst anyone’s feel good bubble, or to downplay any trash talking about that person (you know, the one on your mind now that I’ve opened Pandora’s Box, and I’m going to bet good money that it’s someone that you really care[d] about, or else you wouldn’t be exerting any mental effort on him / her) … but think of the time you’ve left or disappeared on someone out of the blue. Not because of some argument, not because of irreconcilable differences or some dramatic betrayal or emotional / physical abuse. That’s a different story. It’s about the time you were the one who left someone all of a sudden, without reason and without explanation.
Please don’t start feeding yourself excuses as to why you’ve decided to step away. It doesn’t matter if you are jumping to your own defense, saying that your act of disappearance was done in a subtle and slow manner
as a sign of respect to that person, or as fast as a blink of an eye… as a sign of respect to that person. (If you really do believe that either way is a sign of respect, think of the times someone disappeared on you, and how respected you felt during those instances and then come back to me.)
I call bullshit.
We all tend to judge ourselves on our intentions, and others from their actions. I’ve heard that from somewhere, and I think it’s strikingly accurate. There’s always a higher purpose and meaning when we are doing something, because we’re inherently selfish and ultimately out there for ourselves.
We’re not all that different.
I’m no better than anyone else. I’m painfully aware of that. I’ve done the whole vanishing act when I was younger, and there were some contrasting feelings on my side. On the one hand, it felt pretty fucking great, because I didn’t need to be the bad person and say certain things that would definitely hurt someone. I was still the nice, kind me who just didn’t have the heart to say the gut wrenching truth of how I felt to someone directly. Or in some cases, I didn’t care or respect that person enough to consider that I should exert effort and be honest with him / her. Then I secretly hoped that the person would just read my mind and get it and drop all sort of effort to reach out and contact me. Now that I think of it, I think I was pretty rude and disillusioned to think that fading out was a nice gesture. It’s the easy way out, but not the right way. Despite how difficult and anxiety inducing it is to be honest at times, I’ve been putting it into practice. Life is hard enough already, and even though the truth hurts at times, I try to present some sort of respect and kindness towards others to make it just a little bit easier.
There were times when people I really cared about came to a conclusion that I wasn’t significant enough for them and that there’s no need to put in any effort to keep me in their lives anymore. I respect their decisions, as much pain (obviously, to varying degrees, based on how close we were prior to the incident) as they’ve inflicted on me. It felt like I was left hanging on the edge, high and dry. There were a lot of uncertainty and doubts before as well as self-questioning. I’ve lost count to how many times I’ve asked myself what I have done wrong, or if I have accidentally offended someone by saying something idiotic, which in turn would explain that person’s departure.
During the moment that you’ve decided to relinquish whatever relationship or contact with someone abruptly (this is excluding emergency situations and whatnot), you’re ultimately losing a few things.
You’ve lost your right to be respected by said person.
You’ve lost your right to walk back and seek for that person’s attention and care when you feel like it. Okay. There may be cases where that person is still waiting and pining for your reappearance (the extent varies). I’ve been in a situation where a really good friend of mine cut all types of communication with me as well as our mutual friends, and then to come back two years later as if nothing has happened between us (I’ve tried at least a couple of times to reach out to him, but there were no responses at all). Then when I asked him the painstaking question as to why he’s vanished for so long, he obviously decided the question wasn’t worthy enough for an answer and I get it now. He doesn’t give a shit about me. Or, he doesn’t give enough shit about me to answer said question. After this case, I’ve decided that not having a response is a response in itself, and that this person isn’t really worth caring about anymore despite our history and memories with each other.
Note: I do have to thank him for causing me to binge drink that night, because that’s how I thought of my domain name the next day when I was hungover. Not the prettiest story, but still quite memorable.
You’ve also lost a part of your self-esteem, because you’re essentially running away from a situation instead of facing it directly.
You’ve chipped away part of your honesty. If you can’t be truthful to how you feel and need a veil of deception to make yourself feel better, it really doesn’t make you a good person in this aspect.
You’ve lost some courage. Sure, you might not have any to begin with, and it’s hard building that up, but really put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Do you prefer an honest talk, or a sudden departure without any explanation accompanied with incessant toxic thoughts? I think the answer is quite obvious.
The important point to glean here is that those who have the capability to willingly and readily walk away from you are the people who honestly aren’t worth your precious time to think or care about anymore.
Yes, it’s hard.
Yes, I still care about some people who don’t reciprocate the same feeling towards me.
However, I’ve been letting go of my tenderness towards them ever so slowly and gently. After all, a healthy relationship requires mutual effort and respect from both sides, and if you’re stuck in an one-sided situation – be mindful enough (as much as it hurts) that those who can leave you without a trace of explanation simply has no respect for you as a person.
It’s okay if someone doesn’t want to and / or doesn’t respect you. That is not up for you to decide or to fret about as you cannot control anyone but yourself. What you can and should do is to drift away from people who are not giving you the appropriate respect you deserve.
One of the most destructive thing you can do to yourself is to renounce your own self-respect and dignity, and you’d be doing that if you stick with people who treat you like shit.